The News International Team
Equity benchmarks ended volatile session on a strong note on Monday. The Sensex gained more than 233 points (Nifty touched 8300) in morning trade but those gains washed out (ahead of announcement of Infosys earnings) in afternoon trade. However, in last hour of trade, indices regained strength again supported by major bluechips like Infosys, HUL, Reliance Industries and ONGC.
The 30-share BSE Sensex climbed 183.67 points to 27458.38. The index gained 550 points in two consecutive sessions after falling nearly 1000 points in initial three sessions of the week.
The 50-share NSE Nifty rose 49.90 points to close at 8284.50 while the broader markets settled on a flat note.
Experts remained optimistic on India, advising buying quality stocks on every correction.
Sunil Singhania of Reliance Mutual Fund believes an interest in India continued to remain high. According to him, any corrections in near term will be short and swift.
For the week, the Sensex was down 1.5 percent and the Nifty fell 1.3 percent. Bank Nifty lost 2.2 percent while CNX Midcap and BSE Small Cap indices shed 1 percent each.
Software services exporter Infosys took the centrestage today, rallying 5 percent after reporting a good set of numbers in the quarter ended December 2014. Profit grew by 5 percent, ahead of street expectations of 1.9 percent and margins also beat estimates, rising 65 basis points QoQ to 26.7 percent while dollar revenues rose by 0.8 percent sequentially in Q3, in line with estimates.
Also the company maintained FY15 dollar revenue growth guidance of 7-9 percent in constant currency and reported volume growth of 4.2 percent Q-o-Q, the highest in last three years, said Vishal Sikka, CEO and MD of Infosys.
Rivals TCS and Wipro, which will announce their third quarter earnings next week, also gained 3 percent and 1.55 percent, respectively. Tech Mahindra surged 4.4 percent as the software services exporter signed agreement to acquire SOFGEN Holdings.
Shares of ONGC and Oil India spiked 3 percent. The government may exempt both companies from fuel subsidy for rest of FY15, reports media quoting unnamed sources.
Hindustan Unilever was the star of the day and week as well, up 6 percent today to end at record closing high of Rs 863.50. The stock surged 14 percent during the week on slew of upgrades by brokerages.
Tata Steel gained 1.2 percent after Moody’s upgraded the company’s ratings to Ba1 with a stable outlook on expectations that Tata Steel UK Holdings will drag less on the group’s performance.
Among others, shares of Reliance Industries, Tata Motors, HDFC Bank, Dr Reddy’s Labs, Sun Pharma, Cipla, Hindalco Industries and GAIL India climbed 1-3 percent.
However, shares of ITC, ICICI Bank, HDFC, Axis Bank, Bajaj Auto, NTPC, L&T, Bharti Airtel, BHEL and Sesa Sterlite were down 1-3 percent.
In the broader space, Videocon Industries was locked at 20 percent upper circuit after the news of discovery of oil accumulation in Farfan area in the Serqipe basin, offshore Brazil. Petrobras holds 60 participating interest in the BM-SEAL-11 Concession and IBV Brasil (JV between Videocon and BPCL with equal holding) holds the remaining 40 percent interest.
SpiceJet too was locked at 10 percent upper circuit. Sources told CNBC-TV18 that Ajay Singh and partners submitted a preliminary plan to the aviation secretary. Additionally as per government sources, Spicejet said it will deposit some funds by January 8-10 and remaining deposit amount within a month.
Brigade Enterprises surged 8 percent. Motilal Oswal initiated coverage on the stock with a buy rating and target of Rs 232, indicating a 50 percent upside to current market price. The brokerage expects the revenue to double and profits to treble over next 3 years.
Shares of Educomp Solutions gained 5 percent as the education software services provider will consider restructuring options under debt recast plan next week.
Among others, GIC Housing, Pipavav Defence, Edelweiss, Wockhardt, Hexaware, Firstsource Solutions, Onmobile Global, Crompton Greaves and Intellect Design rallied 4-19 percent.
Declining shares outnumbered advancing ones by a ratio of 1543 to 1351 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Meanwhile, the rupee gained more strength today, rising 29 paise to 62.38 a dollar on further selling of the US currency by exporters and banks amid strong domestic equity market.
Globally equities were mixed today. Asian markets like Hang Seng and Korea ended in the green while Shanghai and Straits Times declined. European markets were down around half a percent (at 16 hours IST. Brent crude headed for seventh weekly loss on supply glut, down 0.4 percent to USD 50.76 a barrel.
All eyes are on the US jobs data for December that will be released later today. Economists forecast a gain of 240,000 jobs last month and unemployment rate is expected to fall from 5.8 percent to 5.7 percent.